Transitions are essential to facilitate the reading of a scientific paper (say scientific paper transition).
Clear transitions are crucial for clear writing: they show the reader how different parts of your essay, article, or thesis are related. Transition sentences can be used to structure your text and connect paragraphs or sections.
Transitions between paragraphs
When you start a new paragraph, the first sentence should clearly state:
- What this paragraph will discuss
- How this relates to the previous paragraph
The examples below show some examples of transition sentences between paragraphs and what they express.
The beginning of a new paragraph is usually the right place for a transition sentence. Each paragraph should focus on one topic, so avoid spending time at the end of one paragraph explaining the theme of the next.
Transitions between sections
While transitions between paragraphs are usually a single sentence, when you start a new section in longer text, you may need an entire transition paragraph. Transitioning to a new section involves summarizing the content of the previous section and expressing how the new one will build on or deviate from it.
For example, the following sentences might be an effective transition for a new section in a literary analysis essay.
In blue, the text refers to the conclusion from the previous section. In green, the text announces the content of this new section. In purple, the text announces the purpose of the new section.
Sometimes, it is important to announce the plan of the new section in a diverting way, for example by presenting the different points that will be discussed.
The transition, which therefore acts as an introduction to the new section, must respond to the conclusion of the previous section(s).
For more clarity, it is possible to put the transition after the Title of the Section, ie before starting the first subsection.
Transitions in a paragraph (to better cut the thesis from a paragraph)
It's also important to use effective transitions in every paragraph you write, guiding the reader through your arguments effectively and avoiding ambiguity.
The order of information in each of your sentences is important for the cohesion of your text. The New Known Contract, a useful writing concept, states that a new sentence should generally begin with a reference to information in the previous sentence and then continue by linking it to new information.
In the following example, the second sentence does not follow very clearly from the first. The connection only becomes clear when we reach the end. By reordering the information in the second sentence so that it begins with a reference to the first, we can help the reader follow our argument more easily.
Using appropriate transition words helps show your reader's connections within and between sentences. Transition words and phrases are of four main types:
- Additive transitions, which introduce new information or examples
- Adverse transitions, which signal a contrast or departure from the preceding text
- Causal transitions, which are used to describe cause and effect
- Sequential transitions, which indicate a sequence
The table below gives some examples for each type:
Although transition words and phrases are essential and every essay contains at least some of them, it is also important to avoid overusing them. One way to do this is to group similar information together to reduce the number of transitions needed.
For example, the following text uses three transition words and jumps from idea to idea. This makes it repetitive and difficult to follow. Rewriting it to group similar information allows us to use a single transition, which makes the text more concise and readable.